If you read last week’s blog post than you already know about the fishing, the fireworks, the creek, the mud, the upset dad. My weeklong trip to Northern Saskatchewan wasn’t as relaxing as the brochure promised.
Thankfully, the truck came out, we got it cleaned up and we actually caught some pretty decent fish. If you didn’t read it you can here.
But, the story can’t end there.
Because, just like our goals, even after we get back on track, there can be detours, and there usually are. It is not all smooth sailing to goal success, right?
After a week of fishing, it was time to drive back home. A short 24-hour jaunt. The group split into three vehicles, me driving the now famous mud truck filled with the young folks. The “adults” took the other cars.
The plan was a direct trip back, all 24 hours, stopping only for gas. I got out ahead of the group, but thought I was in the back. Uh-oh. I sped up little by little trying to catch up to the group behind me.
Until… I ran out of gas.
Fortunately, I found the only freeway ramp inside 20 miles and coasted right up to the gas pump.
Unfortunately, it was 5:30am, the gas station was closed, and the folks with money, cash and credit cards, were not there.
Twice within a week I found myself in trouble. The difference was I didn’t cause this diversion.
Sometimes this happens in our goals. We handle and account for all the distractions and diversions of our own creation, but sometimes things just happen beyond our control and then, Bam! We are back off track. What do we do now?
Luck, miracles, and a helping hand.
Somehow, the adult’s truck, the one I thought was ahead of us, pulled to the side of the freeway to wait. You see, they also thought we were behind them; hey, it was o’ dark 30 give us a break. They pulled over to let us catch up knowing we would be needing gas, as were they.
We ran up, met them, got the credit card, filled the tank and made it home. The end. (Of this story.)
When it comes to goals, and we find that difficult times arise, I find the best way to get through the distraction is enlist the support of a helping hand.
Without the credit card it would have been impossible for us to complete the journey.
Likewise, without mentors, masterminds and accountability it is impossible for us to make it through to the end of our goals. We can try to make it on our own, but the reality is most obstacles are easier to overcome with assistance. Mentors can take us to higher levels FASTER than we can go without them.
Look at every famous athlete: performance coach, every successful actor: director, every popular singer/performer: voice coach, and every successful CEO: mentor. Coaching, mentoring, mastermind groups and accountability partners are imperative to your successful journey.
If you don’t have someone holding you accountable to your goals, assisting you when you run out of gas, energy/motivation, or mentoring you through tough times, you need to.
Promise: Nothing in your business and life will have a more immediate impact on your success or a larger ROI than working with a coach.
Do you ever feel like you are just spinning your wheels? You set a goal, you have some big plans, you start down the road and then BAM! Sidetracked, or worse…. stuck.
The mud stuck truck.
A few years back, I went fishing up in Northern Saskatchewan with my dad. I make it sound like I am a big fisherman, I am not. I am terrible, impatient, loud and I bore easily. But a week away from the city would do me well so I went.
The group we went with are of opposite me. They love fishing, rising early, paddling out and sitting in silence for hours. It didn’t take long for me to get bored.
So, I came up with a win-win. I’d take the truck, drive the 50 miles back to town and get some milk and cereal for breakfast. They would sit silently and fish; win-win. So, I took off, on my own, in to town.
I didn’t make it. I got distracted.
Heading down the highway I saw a sign directing me to a firework factory (angels might have been singing in silhouette over the sign). I couldn’t pass it up. So, off I went in search of explosives. As I went deeper into the surrounding forest, I was faced with an adventure; if you define adventure as what you get into when not doing what you’re supposed to.
The trail took a sharp right and headed down the steep side of a hill. A little leftover rain made the road muddy and I slid to the bottom. Hello little stream. Well, it looked little.
As I slid into the stream, my truck, actually my dad’s truck, sunk about a foot deep. I gave it some gas and lost another foot. Out of frustration I gassed it again and found water at the bottom of my doors. I was really in trouble.
Do you ever find yourself in a similar situation in life?
You set a goal: lose weight, get a date, start your business, write a book or close a new deal; then set off towards completion, excited and ready.
But along the way something seemingly better jumps out, pizza, Netflix, karaoke night?
And Bam! Sidetracked and stuck in a stream.
Out of frustration you spin your wheels: buy new workout shoes, buy a book writing class, or rewrite your goals.
Eventually you find yourself stuck, up to your doors, no closer to your goal and lost. You feel alone, cutoff or worse, a failure.
What do you do?
First, recognize what got you off path. Acknowledge. What is your “firework factory”? The reality is, the road to success is loaded with enticing diversions. The road to success is hard, fireworks are awesome and that is how it begins.
The first step to getting, and staying, on track is to know the detours, diversions and temptations. Recognize what obstacles you face.
After realizing that spinning my tires was…. well, spinning my tires and getting me more stuck, I had to come up with a plan.
I jumped out into the muddy creek and started digging out each wheel. Why didn’t I call for help? I was way out in the forest in Northern Saskatchewan. It was just me and the chipmunks.
After digging out I stuffed branches, leaves, and grass from the creek back into the holes. I climbed back into the truck, put it in neutral, revved and popped the clutch. I moved about a foot, repeated, and slowly crawled through the creek.
Just as darkness began to settle, covered head to foot in mud, both me and the truck, and exhausted, I reached the solid side and got out.
It was too late, and I was too tired, to head to town so I just returned to the lake and admitted my mistake.
What did I learn and how can you apply it to your goals.
9 strategies to get back on track
Recognize you are off path. The first step always involves admitting to yourself that you have a problem J
You can’t panic: You may be way out of cell range and all alone but you need to keep a handle on it emotionally. It hurts to get off track from your goals. The guilt, the embarrassment, the wasted hours. But panicking does not help, it further hurts.
Hard work: Look, we all get off course, and the further off you get, the harder it is to get back on. If you really want to succeed you must put in the time. And sometimes that means digging out your wheels in the mud and muck. Get back on track with your goals by putting in the time to catch up to where you should be.
Creativity: Stuffing branches and leaves under the tires for traction and then popping the clutch wasn’t in any manual. In fact, most auto folks would recommend against it. But I was desperate, and desperate times call for creative measures; you like how I did that? Look at your goals and what caused you to veer off. Can you think of a creative way to stay excited and get back on track?
Give it some gas: When I pushed the gas pedal, prior to the creative stick stuffing solution, I just sunk deeper. When we get off track and we keep spinning our wheels we get more stuck. But if you employ the strategies of hard work and creative solutions- AND THEN give it some gas. Pop! You are out and back on track.
Never give up: Whether you are stuck in the mud or stuck on a goal you are not a failure and you are not irreversibly off course UNTIL you give up. The first dig, stuff, pop clutch circuit got me a foot, the second a yard and finally after a few tries I was back on course. Your first attempt to reestablish your goal may not work perfectly. KEEP AT IT!!
Get lucky: Luck is not just when preparation meets opportunity. Luck is preparation meeting opportunity, combined with your effort and creativity. When you put in the effort required, luck will be in your favor more time than not. Luck is something we recognize in the rearview. After a little time to reflect we wonder how we did it. We did it because we prepared, we worked hard and the opportunity presented.
Ask for help: We can’t, and shouldn’t, go it alone. Who is your support network? While I would have loved someone to help dig out my truck, the truth is, I had to do that part on my own; so might you. But once I got out I immediately sought the help of my dad, the trucks unhappy owner, to get cleaned up. Allow those in your life that care and want to help, participate in your efforts.
Learn the lesson: Never allow what distracted you initially to distract you ever again. No more firework factories. We have goals to accomplish and lives to impact. Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.
Along the road to success we will see plenty of distracting diversions. We will get tired, we will question our commitment and wonder why we even thought it possible. But remember, if we got off track, we can get back on. We have the tools and the steps necessary. It doesn’t matter how far off course you feel, there is always an opportunity to learn and return. Dig out your wheels, pop the clutch and let’s go!!
Would you believe this is not the end of my Saskatchewan fishing trip story? How much more can go wrong? Find out in next weeks blog post.
Do you ever wonder if you are headed down the wrong path? Not “throwing your life away” kind of wrong path, the “focusing on the wrong priorities in life and business” kind of wrong path.
I’ve been there. I started, and failed at, three businesses in the last ten years. Not one of them caught the fire necessary for sustainability. I wasted a lot of time and money; the time burns me more than the money.
As high achievers, you and I see a need and we start to fill it. Unfortunately, this leads to the society of starters, when we need to be finishers.
The Long Road to Banaue, or as my kids call it, The 17 Hour Death Drive:
As a family, we took a vacation to see the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines; commonly referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World. The place is amazing: 2000-year-old rice terraces carved into the mountains of Ifugao fed by an ancient irrigation system. Stunning sunrises, fog, greenery- just breathtaking.
The terraces are, however, a long way from the Manila airport. Only accessible by car, it takes 8-9 hours without traffic; good luck finding a rental willing to allow their cars up there. Add three more hours for the two-kilometers across Manila commute- yes, two kilometers, three hours, yuck! Plan for 12 hours of one lane, steep, windy driving with chickens scattering about.
We arranged for a room at Tony’s house, he is the best, and set off.
Like goal achievement, you have your desired outcome, you set your course, and enthusiastically take off. But what happens when you realize the course you chose was wrong?
We relied on GPS because we are directionally challenged newbies to Northern Luzon. One map directed to Banaue proper, a second to Tony’s house. When they differed, we followed Tony’s house map. Twelve hours later, pitch black and pouring rain, we came to the pavements end. The road continued in the form of a muddy mess. I tried to walk it, barely.
The hard decision
When this happens on a drive you can turn the car around. When it happens in the drive to your goals, what do you do? The only options are reverse course or push on.
Easier said than done
When we invest time and effort into a project or goal, the pain of realizing that you are on the wrong path can be crushing. As motivation hits an all-time low, you question if it is even worth pursuing.
We had the same decision to make on the road to Banaue. According to the map we were now four hours in the wrong direction. Was Banaue worth it?
We turned around, retraced to where the GPS led us astray, and arrived at the Rice Terraces a little after 1:00am. Tony was asleep so we slept a couple hours in the car (slept?). At sunrise, we stood at the upper lookout and watched as the magnificence of Banaue’s 2000-year-old rice terraces came into full view. It took 17 hours but we celebrated arriving.
You will experience disappointment when you realize you followed the wrong course to your dream. But, once you get back on track and ultimately reach your destination, it will be worth it.
Three suggestions when you realize you navigated the wrong course to your goal.
Make a decisive decision to succeed. Do not doubt or hesitate. Immediately adjust to the right course.
The route was an error, but you are not a failure. Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. You did not fail, you just took the scenic route. Do not beat yourself, pick yourself up with confidence and go after your goal.
Reaching your goal will taste super sweet. Anything worthwhile will take effort and demand sacrifice. But when you do reach your goal the result will feel deserved.
Like sunrise over Banaue after a 17 mile death drive.
The CEO of a company I worked for, my first job after law school, did something to destroy all trust and confidence I had in his leadership ability. He refused to stand up and bear the responsibility of his position. He gave up his ability to influence. Be careful that you don’t do the same. Today I discuss the story of my first CEO, his leadership blunder and 9 ways that we give up influence after becoming leaders; losing my leadership.
Episode Summary: Losing my leadership | 9 Ways to Give up Influence
Leadership is influence- When we start to lose it, we don’t notice until it is too late.
Today’s featured guest is Connor Gillivan; a 27 year old serial entrepreneur and published author. After founding his first company in his college dorm room buying and selling text books on Amazon.com, he grew it to over $20 million in sales with a team of over 60 people.
Connor co-founded his second company, FreeeUp, after becoming an expert at hiring and managing remote freelancers. FreeeUp now serves as an online hiring platform where business owners can quickly hire reliable, pre-vetted freelancers from around the world.
Episode Summary: Social Entrepreneur, Successful Founder & Only 27 w/ Connor Gillivan
A practical approach to creating wealth-based on the established principles of ancient Jewish wisdom-made accessible to people of all backgrounds
The ups and downs of the economy prove Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s famous principle that the more things change, the more we need to depend upon the things that never change. There’s no better source for both practical and spiritual financial wisdom than the time-tested knowledge found in the ancient Jewish faith and its culture. In the Second Edition of Thou Shall Prosper, Lapin offers a practical approach to creating wealth based on the established principles of ancient Jewish wisdom. This book details the ten permanent principles that never change, the ten commandments of making money if you will, and explores the economic and philosophic vision of business that has been part of Jewish culture for centuries. The book’s focus is on making accessible to individuals of all backgrounds, the timeless truths that Jews have used for centuries to excel in business.
I throw out my razor, my toothbrush and my toaster. We live in a culture of dispensability. This culture has crept into our businesses making employees replaceable, diminishing loyalty. How do we become indispensable? Today we talk about the secrets to being recognized for your performance and a 30 day challenge to indispensability.
Someone knocked over a drink. Surprise? Not really; it happens every pizza night. My kids aren’t clumsy, they just have a scarcity mentality. We love pizza over here (my son’s favorite song “I love pizza more than you”, a song he made up; he’s five). The scarcity mindset drives them to inhale their pizza and fight for the final slice. Someone always walks away in tears. Silly and immature, we can always get more pizza.
How many of us go through life with the same scarcity mentality?
A scarcity mindset is convinced that opportunities, resources, promotions, and success are limited; there just isn’t enough to go around. Forcing feelings that you must get yours before it runs out. This type of thinking leads to fear, failure, unhappiness and insecurity; characterized as a belief in the existence of too much competition, not enough money, uncontrollable environments and comparison.
Scarcity focuses on:
The short term
Jealousy & unhealthy competition
Limiting views of growth
Unwillingness to share credit or recognition
Insecurity, pessimism and small thinking
Materialism & a fear of missing out (fomo)
An Abundant Mindset
Alternatively, the abundance mentality recognizes that opportunity, like air, are limitless; plenty to go around. Abundant leaders concentrate on what they want to accomplish, even if it appears impossible. If only I could help my kids understand there will always be more pizza.
Abundance focuses on:
The big picture, the long term
Collaborative opportunities to progress
There is more __________ where that came from
Building trust & rapport
Optimism, service & giving
Finding happiness in the success of others
Commitment and Motivation
Ideas and opportunities are not scarce, they are abundant. Yet few act on their inspirations. It isn’t a lack of ideas, rather a lack of motivation and commitment. Unlimited excuses begin to surface; too busy, no funds, too much competition, no time, etc. Success begins between your ears, it starts with mindset.
6 Steps to an Abundant Mindset
Reduce media consumption – conscious media consumption (including social) is imperative. So much is negative, a continuous parade of failure, hate and depravity creating unhealthy competition, lowered self-esteem and fear others will steal your success. This is not representative of your reality. Recognize that equal promotion is not given to stories of abundance and positivity. They do exist.
Give-Share-Serve – giving starts the receiving process. Turning your focus outward draws opportunities toward you. In life, you get back what you send out. Start by serving with no expectation of return and be surprised at the return. Help others achieve their dreams.
Stop comparing – recognize that the experiences your friends, coworkers and others appear to be having are often the “Photoshop” version, not the real challenges. Celebrate their success but don’t compare.
Commit to work for it – “opportunity is missed by most people,” as Thomas Edison famously said, “because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”. Anything worthwhile is going to take commitment, sacrifice, dedication and intention. Abundance exists for those willing to commit to work for it.
Don’t fear failure – failure is an event and a mindset, not a person. It is not permanent. Never permit fear to obscure opportunity. Ask, “what is the worst thing that could happen” (really happen). Often, very little. Take a step into the unknown confident you will be able to see further. Look for positives in failure as stepping stones to your next victory. Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn (tweet that).
See opportunity – Make the choice to see opportunity, to expect opportunity. Like buses, another will be coming shortly. The choice to have an abundant mindset is within.
Abundance and Scarcity
The scarcity mentality causes sufferers to accept things as they are, not as they can be. This thinking will not benefit your dreams. To be successful, focus on building trust and working collaboratively. If you support others in their journey to accomplishment, you will be rewarded with abundant opportunities.